Vudu Spark is Walmart’s answer to Google’s Chromecast
Walmart is the latest company trying to cash in on the success of Google’s Chromecast, the HDMI video streaming dongle that has become especially popular among cord-cutters, according to a leaked filing from the FCC, as reported by GigaOm. Walmart is planning to release a Chromecast-like streaming dongle that works with Walmart’s Vudu platform, which is the retail giant’s answer to Netflix.
A Vudu spokesperson later confirmed the plans to Mashable, saying: “At VUDU, we’re always looking at new ways for our customers to experience the movies and TV shows in their VUDU library. We’re developing a streaming stick and will share more information in the coming months, so stay tuned.”
Called the Vudu Spark, the dongle follows in the footsteps of the Chromecast and the Streaming Stick by plugging into a spare HDMI port behind your television and connecting wirelessly to your router over Wi-Fi. Unlike other streaming media devices, however, Walmart’s dongle is a bit one-dimensional, as it only works with the company’s Vudu service, whereas its competitors support multiple services.
The device will use a Zigbee-based RF remote control, although it remains to be seen whether the Vudu Spark will support smartphone-based controls similar to the Chromecast. There also does not seem to be any mention of screen mirroring or any of the other advanced features that the Chromecast has, which suggests that Walmart’s dongle is simply meant as a straightforward and basic method of bringing Vudu to televisions.